You may have noticed that Brexit has entirely replaced terrorism – the staple of British news between 2001 and 2016 – in the British broadcast and print media. Not even the suicide bombing of the Manchester Arena in May 2017 was able to unseat the Brexit agenda from our television screens for more than a month, which is interesting considering the British media’s prior behaviour in response to non-fatal terrorism stories and acts of terrorism in other western countries.
Coming from the position that claims women are uniquely delicate and female politicians incapable of engaging with male members of the general public, we can accept this criticism. Yeah, we may think it a complete load of tosh, but this is where Woman for Independence – at least on Twitter – is coming from, and they are fairly consistent. Fair enough. What had me banging my head on the wall like a demented polar bear at the zoo in a heatwave were the hashtags that followed.
Yesterday morning the Scottish Tory list MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, shared on Twitter an image of an email he had received the previous evening purporting to be from me. “A measured addition to my inbox this morning,” he wrote,” from Jason Michael McCann aka Jeggit…” He went on to ask: “did he write it, or Uncle Rab?” There is no doubt this nasty and abusive email cased Murdo some distress. It certainly caused me some distress. I neither wrote it nor sent it.
Racism and violence are inseparable because racism itself is violence. It stands to reason then that these people, emboldened by the sharp right turn in British politics and the overt xenophobia of Brexit, see violence and the threat of violence as political instruments. None of this comes as a surprise. We need look no further than Brexit, in fact, for the hardest evidence of this violence. Thomas Mair, the man who hacked Labour MP Jo Cox to death during the EU referendum campaign was a white supremacist and British nationalist.
Any population that has ingested, over a protracted period of time, the continual state propaganda of fear inevitably succumbs to paranoia – a key ingredient of the right-wing Brexit vote.
We can’t have a society where the state and the media construe this racialised pecking order – infused with the poisons of fear and ignorance – without expecting some clown somewhere to take it seriously.
Is it an overreaction to suggest that we are repeating the history of the 1930s that led ultimately to the Nazi genocide in Europe and a global total war that resulted in the destruction of a continent and the use of nuclear weapons?
In a resurgence of the politics of the 1930s the paranoid racism of the parochial and petty-minded has become useful and so is being stoked by players in the nation’s game of thrones.